Archive for the ‘Life News’ Category

Happy End to 2011! (Part 1)

December 15, 2011


I went to Staples last week to get a new accordian folder.  The kind of folder I use at the end of each year to collect & categorize all of my business-related receipts & other bits of paperwork, which I will hand over to my CPA come Springtime.  It’s but one of the many “clearing out” rituals that happen when another year is coming to a close.  But…

WAIT A MINUTE!  Didn’t I just do this?  Where did 2011 go?  And what exactly happened during this time?  I mean, my 2010 accordian folder is still sitting in my office, having never made it to the storage unit, where years 2002-2009 sit patiently awaiting it’s arrival.  (Not to worry!  A long overdue spring cleaning of our storage unit is coming up during “quiet time” this month!  Oh, joy!)

All of this is to say – Well, shoot.  Time really flies.  Again and again I’m reminded of this fact.  So back to 2011.  And what to make of it.

All in all I’d call it a good year.  A productive year.  Sure there were bouts of anxiety & frustrations along the way, but all in all, it was a very good year.  I finally yanked myself away from Los Angeles in August, and went on a long-overdue, well-deserved (stay)cation which involved an 8 day juice fast in the desert.  That might sound like torture to some, but I loved it.  It was exactly the rest & rejuvenation I needed.  And to prove it, I’ve already got my reservation for same time next year!

My book, The Princess of Fakenham, continues to evolve.  It’s definitely long enough now to qualify as a novel!  Yipee!  Soon it shall be time to share what I’ve come up with (to a select group of trusted eyes).  I’m looking forward to the feedback that will hopefully point me in the direction leading to the book’s completion.  My goal is the end of 2012.

Early this year I revisited voice & dance lessons.  Alas, as much as I loved going back to ballet, I soon discovered some rather unpleasant new aches & pains.  Halux rigidus?!  Latin for “stiff toe”.  Yes, it seems I was suddenly dealing with a bit of arthritis in the joint at the base of my right big toe.  The foot doc suggested that repeated releves at the ballet bar were probably not the best idea, and that I might want to keep my heels closer to the ground now.  “Tap or jazz probably won’t be as irritating as ballet,” he said to me.  “Well,” I thought.  “At least there’s that.”  DRAT!  Never before has it been more clear to me that I am no longer an invincible 18 year old.  I know it doesn’t mean I can’t do it anymore.  Rather, I need to do it differently than I did before.  With more consciousness & compassion for where I am today.  Physically & otherwise.  And if I may say so, in spite of my “advanced dancers age”, I can still dance circles around those “kids” in class.  I may do double instead of quadruple pirouettes these days.  And I may not kick my leg behind my head anymore, or do scissor leaps in the air.  But in my humble opinion, bringing life experience, style, and storytelling skills to choreography trumps those technical tricks any day. The dancers I want to watch are telling me a story.  Same goes for singers, musicians, and (obviously) actors.

Going back to these lessons brought up other stuff tho’ too. Namely – how in God’s name did I manage my time & finances to be able to DO IT ALL when I was starting out?  Seriously!  Acting classes, dance classes, singing lessons…  Once upon a time, it was a given that I was doing all of these things.  For many hours a week.  So?  What happened?  It can’t merely be choice.  Because I love to dance.  So… Why am I not in dance class?  And what’s keeping me from continuing my voice lessons?  I feel like if God (or Universe or Spirit or whatever you wanna call it-him-her-they) gave me these abilities, I ought to be using them, enjoying them, and even making a living doing them, right?  So, what gives?

If I look back at that time when I was “doing it all”, the truth is, I wasn’t yet in the business of my business.  Know what I’m saying?  I mean… Yeah, I went to Chorus & Principal calls at the AEA audition center in NYC.  But mainly, I was temping by day to pay my rent, and when I wasn’t temping, I was in my classes.  Sometimes four hours of dancing in a day.  Plus an hour each week with my voice teacher.  Plus various acting classes multiple times per week.  I was doing all of these things because I loved it.  And I wanted to be great at these things.  I didn’t have agents yet at this point in my career, so I wasn’t auditioning nearly as much as I am now.  And I wasn’t yet cultivating the business aspect of my career, like cultivating relationships, seeking mentors, goal-setting, developing my brand, putting forth action plans, etc.  Oh, and…

I wasn’t married yet either.  That changes things.  Some things.  I certainly don’t blame marriage for not “allowing” me to go out and do these things.  And besides, my hubby couldn’t be more supportive of my endeavors.  So, yes, while I may be less inclined to go off on a 6-month European tour of Cats or 42nd Street, I’m still more than happy do a 3 month film shoot in Romania!

And while we’re on the topic of lessons…  I bought a guitar this year.  I intend to have some lessons.  Soon, hopefully.  In the meantime, I’ve taught myself a bunch of chords which I have no idea how to actually use.  Yet.  Knowing how to play the piano definitely has helped, I think.  Though there are different challenges related to my small hands & short fingers that I am trying to sort out a bit on my own before turning to a professional for guidance.

I also still think a lot about learning other languages.  My Italian studies were “rudely” interrupted when I joined a theatre company and started doing a lot of plays.  Suddenly I didn’t have the time to do my homework and practice my conversation skills with “Paulo e Isella”.  See?  Time management is everything!  How can we do it all when there are only so many hours in the day?  We have to rehearse, go to auditions, write 30 minutes a day, meditate, go to the bank, go grocery shopping, study Italian verb conjugations, see the doctor, hit the gym.  And then we go to acting class, dance class, improv class, voice lessons, guitar lessons, language lessons, pole dancing class and flying trapeze school…

[Hats off to those of you who also have children!]

Doesn’t something have to go?

I want to do it all.  I really do.  But…


Do I need to give up on sleep?  Is that how the people who “do it all” do it?

Desire.  Interest.  Passion.  Curiosity.  Yearning.  Having and feeling these things is all good news.  Maybe there’s a way to devise a rotating schedule? So as to continue nurturing and developing all of these interests & abilities, and not allow them to lie dormant?

Any ideas, suggestions, and/or stories from your personal experiences with these issues are most welcome!

In any case, an acknowledgment of the 2011 highlights is in order.

Coming up next, in part 2 of Happy End to 2011!


Seriously…I need an assistant.

May 12, 2011

Oh blog, how I’ve neglected thee!

It’s “funny”…

2011 has been a busy year.  Admittedly, it feels like much of it has been more process-oriented (aka “in progress”), and perhaps that’s why I’ve felt less inclined to check in here.  What?!  Like I only could post something when I had something to “brag” about?  When there was a solid “result” produced from my on-going professional & personal efforts and pursuits?

It’s the process that really counts, right?  The journey?  That’s what they say.  And that’s what I, intellectually, totally agree with, comprehend, etc, etc.

Yet I confess it’s a challenge at times — keeping the faith, keeping spirits up, doing what compels me on a day to day basis, and all that jazz.  I confess that sometimes, when I’m deep in the thick of the journey, and it seems like there’s a hell of a lot of time, energy, money, emotional investment going out, while it seems like nothing is coming back in…what can I say?  It starts to feel really hard, frustrating, and even (on a bad day?) hopeless.  All this “seeming”.  Even on the harder days, thankfully, deep down I’m able to maintain the belief that there are bigger forces at work.  And so, really…I really don’t have anything else to do except enjoy what I get to do each & every day.  As my friend Darrell says, “Fall into that…voluptuously”.  (Forgive my paraphrasing Darrell!)

Now the truth about this year so far is I have and continue to experience & accomplish a lot of cool stuff. For starters…

I now have the framework of my book, The Princess of Fakenham.  There’s still a long way to go, and I’ve been very distracted from that project for the last few months.  But it’s there…and I know it’s not going away.

I started dance class again — ballet specifically — after a very long absence from that world.  My body was so happy to be moving like that again!!  After a month back, my right big toe started feeling this intense pain, and I learned I have the beginning of some arthritis in the joint there.  Presumably from my 17 years of dancing, walking in high heels.  The pressure of all those eleves and releves in ballet are just a little too much for this bod of mine now.  So, rather too quickly, dance had to take a back seat again.  For a bit, anyway.  Maybe jazz, or even modern (hello barefoot!), will make my feet a little happier?  I won’t give up on it yet.  Thankfully, barefoot running makes my feet quite happy!

I started voice lessons again, too!  Opportunities started coming up recently that required singing, and I realized I really need to stop ignoring this other skill of mine.  I realized I not only wanted to brush up the technique but also reassemble an audition book that included not only the musical theatre stuff, but also rock/pop.  It’s been fun – albeit slow going – gathering songs to rock out to!  Eddie Sayegh and Steven Memel have helped & continue to help me get back on track.

Voice overs continue to keep me busy.  With my rockstar agents at VOX, I started off the year voice matching Robin Wright for the upcoming feature film MONEYBALL (also starring Brad Pitt).  That was a cool experience I’d never had before —  callback-to-work.  There were three of us.  We went in one at a time to meet & read for director Bennet Miller (Oscar nominated for CAPOTE).  And then I was chosen!  Went back in & recorded the scene.  A phone call with Brad driving in his car, and me/Robin on the phone with him.

I’ve recorded two spots (so far) for a Ragu campaign called “Mom’s the word on Dinner“.  You can watch/hear them here:

I did more ADR on yet another soap — DAYS OF OUR LIVES.  This just aired on May 6th.  I played a young mom in a safe-house where one of the characters used to live.  They hear me trying to soothe my crying baby in the hallway.  Maybe I’ll get a daytime Emmy nom?  Hm.  Probably not.  The post folks there were really fun to work with.  And I love the soaps, cuz whether you’re on or off camera they put you in a very cozy dressing room.

In April, the new MORTAL KOMBAT video game was released by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.  I play Sonya Blade again.  It’s been getting fantastic reviews.  G4‘s X-Play gave the game 5 out of 5!

And this week I shot a commercial for Hartford Insurance which was so  much fun!  I had been craving being back on a set again.  And I couldn’t have been surrounded by a better group of people behind and in front of the cameras.  It’s a very amusing spot, and I had the pleasure of working with a wonderful actor — my hubby for the day – Andrew Burlinson, as well as Sarah Rush, who played our hard-selling, “kooky” and ultimately misleading real estate agent.  Patrick Sherman (of Caviar Content) directed.  Alyson Horn cast (she also cast me in my very 1st commercial for Guinness Beer in 2004).  I don’t know (yet) when they plan to air this.  It’ll start national cable, and then they have plans to go network.  Fingers crossed!

Did I mention the 1st audition for this was on my birthday?  April 28th.  Pretty awesome gift, I have to say.

This winter has also been about a lot of auditions (2 pilots, three features, and a couple already-on-the-air shows) that did not lead to bookings.  Several of these were first auditions with film & tv casting offices that had never met me before.  So…even though it was quite disappointing not to book the gigs, I know it’s all a good thing.  I want to be on these people’s radar.  And…now I am.  Seeds are being planted.

I was also seen for the first time at The Black Dahlia Theatre, which has been on my target list for some time.  They do tremendous work there, and I was thrilled to have been asked to return for the 2nd audition (aka “the callback” for the non-industry folks reading this).  Didn’t get this one either (big sigh).  But again, I’m so glad to have met Artistic Director Matt Shakman, Producer Gaalan Michaelson, Director Mark St. Amant and Writer Marco Ramirez during this audition process.  And I look forward to meeting them all again in the not-too-distant future.

Wasn’t I talking about process?  Oh yes.  I returned to The Antaeus Company in April to work with Armin Shimmerman in the Shakespeare Workout.  Awesome stuff!  Learned so much from him. Hello rhetoric!

And this month, I’ve returned to my theatre company The New American Theatre (formerly Circus Theatricals) after an extended hiatus.

Have I mentioned writing makes my brain tired?  Well.  It does.  And on that note…I’m going to send my assistant out to get the dry cleaning so I can take a nap.

A girl can dream…

Check out the links!

July 12, 2010

Just wanted to thank my friends & colleagues in both the voice over & on-camera worlds for sharing their fabulous links!

Check ’em out when you have a chance.

There’s some groovy stuff here!
On another note…

Closing night for GETTING OUT is this SUNDAY, the 18th at 7pm.  Would love to have you join me & the rest of the cast to help bring a close to what has been a phenomenal period of my professional life.

For tickets go to:

Industry Comps may be requested by calling: 323.309.5747

And on a final note…

Who am I gonna see at ComiCon??

Closing Night!

Getting Out Extended into July!

July 1, 2010

Yes, that’s right folks.  The play I’ve been immersed in since December has added two more performances in July, so if you couldn’t make it in June, you’re in luck!

We’re still running in rep with the mainstage show — the Ovation recommended More Lies About Jerzy — which has also been extended through the end of July.

Here’s the scoop (and mark your calendars):


Sunday, July 11 at 7PM

Sunday, July 18 at 7PM

Still at the beautiful, historic Hayworth Theatre near downtown.  Right next to La Fonda, where you can either chow down before the show OR get drunk after.  YOU decide!

For tickets, go to:

Or call: 323.960.7788  

(industry comps available)

Check LA Stage Alliance, too (

…that’s where you may find 1/2 price tix.


Went in for the 2nd time this year to Producers over at HOUSE, M.D.  A juicy Guest Star role (think Sophie’s Choice).  Probably the best audition of my life (certainly makes up for not booking it).  How exhilerated was I to know I ROCKED it for the great Director Dan Attias, Producer Katie Jacobs, Writer Eli Attie, and, of course, the lovely casting ladies – Amy Lippens, Stephanie Laffin & Janelle Scuderi.  That was fun!

What else?

Right after Getting Out closes, we’re goin’ down to San Diego.  It’ll be a mix of long-overdue R&R and some hearty networking.   Staying out in the “countryside” with the cousins for a few days…then downtown at my Grandpa’s condo in the sky during the madness that is ComiCon.

At least with my newly acquired boxing skills, I can defend myself properly in Hall H.  In fact, if I see that Wonder Woman bee-atch, I think I’ll definitely punch her in the face.

Awwwwww….I’m just kiddin!

where was I?

May 7, 2010

Hello again.  Figured I’d check in. Since I last wrote, there’s been some activity here & there.

My CRIMINAL MINDS episode aired on Wednesday eve (aka Cinco de Mayo).  Hurrah!  If you blinked, you missed my mug (but damn, I looked good for those 1.5 seconds!), but you definitely heard me a heck of lot through that Teaser.  🙂

A couple weeks ago, they brought me in to do ADR.  A page of new stuff!  That was fun.  But sometimes I wish I didn’t know what I was doin’ in front of the mic, ya know?  I mean, I was in and out of that recording stage in 20 minutes!!!  Sure sure, I made the post people very happy for giving them a little extra time to eat their lunch.  But I have so much fun…I just wanna do MORE of it, ya know?

Speaking of fun…I seem to be coming up for more voice match gigs.  Now, that’s pretty cool, too.  Did Amy Poehler for a spot back in December.  And had a callback to match her BFF for a Dreamworks Animation project.  (so close, but alas, no cigar).  And turned in a (I think) good “stab” at Julia Roberts for the upcoming Eat, Pray, Love.

Next week, I’m going back to The Young & the Restless to do another off-camera u-5 for them.  Now, this is a cool way to do voice over — from a recording booth on the soundstage, I get to do the scene LIVE with the actors who are on camera.  (Look ma! I’m really acting!)   Good times, good times.

And last but not least, I am in on-going rehearsals for GETTING OUT (become a fan on Facebook).

The opening is finally in sight!  We’re playing on Sunday nights through June (7pm.  starting May 30th, Opening Night June 6th) at the fabulous Hayworth Theatre downtown! Come on down and see me tackle my 1st lead role in a gorgeous play by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Marsha Norman!  Directed by Robert Cicchini.  And co-starring members of the Circus Theatricals Studio Ensemble.

Don’t miss this very limited run!

Ok.  That’s enough for now.

Um…ok…so I’ve slacked off on the News Updates…

February 19, 2010

Where did the time go?  Yeah, I feel like a broken record when I ask that question BUT, I continue to ask it anyway.  My last posting was in MAY 2009 for goodness sakes!  What was I doing then?

(pardon me while I go back and read my last post.  ok.  I’m back.)

Wow…um…ok.  Well, at the end of June, I finished my successful run in Circus Theatricals Festival of One Act Plays. My hilarious one-act LUNCH-O-LUTION (with the wonderful Vanessa Waters) was a hit with audiences.

Summer was spent re-energizing with a road trip up the coast to Cambria.

The Fall brought me to Paris & the South of France for two glorious weeks.

In November, I shot a commercial for Charter Communications called “WAREHOUSE” (currently running in in the northeast, southeast, & central states)   Click on the title to check it out!

On December 1st, I became a first-time aunt to Maya Paige Baron!

Other fun times in December…

  • did a voice-match job for Amy Poehler on a VITAMIN WATER campaign pitch.
  • started rehearsals for Marsha Norman’s beautiful play GETTING OUT – the next production for Circus Theatricals at THE HAYWORTH THEATRE (where The Women had it’s successful 3 month run!).  Yours truly is playing her first leading role!  I’m being directed by the fabulous Robert Cicchini, and surrounded by a wonderful cast (including Courtney Munch, who’s playing my younger, violent self).

Playing/preparing for this role has led me to something I’ve always wanted to do hardcore – Boxing!  For two months, I’m training 2 hours, 3 days a week at Fortune’s Gym on Sunset Blvd. with Jesse Reid (trainer of 30 champions!).  Running and/or hiking on my off days.  I’m thrilled with the mental, emotional & physical transformation it’s created!  I’ve got just a couple more weeks to go before I let the preparation “cook” for the part.  (hmm…maybe if a movie studio was paying for it I’d keep going?  It’s brutal yet adrenaline-inducing punishment on the body.)

So that’s “it” for the time being.  I’ll try to keep more on top of these updates.  I just don’t know where the time goes sometimes.


It’s May! What’s going on in Dana’s world now?

May 21, 2009

For starters, DREAM DATE, the film I shot in NYC last spring, is currently in the SHORT FILM CORNER at the 2009 CANNES FILM FESTIVAL.  Award winning, Sundance filmmaker RENE ALBERTA is over there with Producer/Editor DANIEL SHAW schmoozing it up!  A few weeks ago, the film had it’s premiere screening right here in Los Angeles (at the W Hotel Westwood) as part of FILM INDEPENDENT’S CINEMA LOUNGE.

DD_Cinema_Lounge_wTextColor copy OneActPost_front

CIRCUS THEATRICALS in association with THE ODYSSEY THEATRE presents the Circus Theatricals Studio Ensemble in The Circus Theatricals 14th Annual Festival of New One Act Plays.

Running May 22-June 28.

I am part of Evening A:  Fridays at 8pm  May 22, 29, June 5, 12, 19, 26

For Tickets ($15):  323.960.7846 or


And in other news, I am quite happy to have my hubby, ADAM FINER, back in Los Angeles after he spent a month in Davenport, Iowa, line producing MEGAFAULT for The Asylum & SciFi Channel. (that’s BRUCE DAVISON with Adam in the photo above!)